Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's okay to sleep on the beach again

Police will no longer arrest, cite or harass people under state law for sleeping in public places in Laguna Beach, California, as long as there are no public health or safety concerns.

In settling a lawsuit, the city also agreed to “seal, expunge or destroy” citations that were written, and convictions obtained, under the city’s own “anti-sleeping” ordinance. Key portions of that ordinance were repealed after the lawsuit was filed December.

“This settlement agreement ... is one more important step toward decriminalizing homelessness in Laguna Beach,” said Hector Villagra of the ACLU.

The city denies criminalizing homelessness, said City Manager Ken Frank. “The settlement of the litigation will allow the community to move forward with its efforts to determine the appropriate approach to address homelessness in Laguna Beach,” he said.

Read the Laguna Beach Independent report here. And see previous posts here and here.

Update: LA's homeless blog says housing homeless people is a much better solution than suing cities to allow them to sleep on our streets. Read the post here.


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